Merck Enters Strategic Collaborations with Amgen, Incyte and Pfizer
News Feb 08, 2014
Merck has announced that it has signed three separate clinical collaboration agreements, through subsidiaries, with Amgen Inc., Incyte Corporation and Pfizer Inc. to evaluate novel combination regimens with MK-3475, Merck’s investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. The financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
“Merck clinical scientists intend to explore the potential of our PD-1 inhibitor across a wide range of cancers, both as monotherapy and in combination,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories.
Dr. Perlmutter continued, “These new collaborations with Amgen, Incyte and Pfizer underscore our shared determination to evaluate treatment regimens with the potential to provide meaningful benefits to patients suffering from cancer.”
Planned investigations include:
• Pfizer and Merck will evaluate in Phase I/II clinical studies the safety and efficacy of MK-3475 in combination with Pfizer’s small molecule kinase inhibitor axitinib (INLYTA®) in patients with renal cell carcinoma, and separately MK-3475 plus PF-05082566 (PF-2566), an investigational immuno-oncology agent that targets the human 4-1BB receptor, in multiple cancer types.
• Incyte and Merck will collaborate on a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled Phase I/II study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a regimen combining MK-3475 with Incyte’s investigational immunotherapy agent, INCB24360, an indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitor, in patients with previously treated metastatic and recurrent NSCLC, among other advanced or metastatic cancers.
• Amgen and Merck will evaluate MK-3475 in combination with Amgen’s investigational oncolytic immunotherapy talimogene laherparepvec in a Phase I/II study in patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma.
Separately, Merck has announced that it will start a new Phase I “signal finding” study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MK-3475 monotherapy in 20 different PD-L1-positive solid tumor types that have not been studied previously (clinical trials identifier: NCT02054806).
Cells Missing Nuclei Struggle to Move in 3D EnvironmentsNews
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments.READ MORE
Cancer Stem Cell Survival is Controlled by Hedgehog Signaling ProteinsNews
Research reveals that cancer stem cell survival is controlled by a specific feature of the Hedgehog signaling pathway (SHH-PTCH1), which allows cells to respond to external signals in addition to inhibiting stem cell differentiation.READ MORE
Single Blood Test 'CancerSEEK' Screens for Eight Cancer TypesNews
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.READ MORE